Calm Waters

Standard Disclaimers Apply


A/N: Hi! This is my first Naruto fanfic so please be nice! The pairing is NejiHina because I noticed that there aren't a lot of them out there. Yes, I know it would be sort of like incest but its just fan fiction…and also if you look at the Hyuuga family and their obsession with bloodline, it kind of makes sense in a way. I think they used to marry cousins tooin the old days in Englandso they could keep their bloodlines pure and the wealth within the family...anywayNeji and Hinataare super cute and interesting to write together! This is for Cookie6!

PS: If you must flame me, flame me about my writing style and not me personally. I'll probably bawl for a week if you do! LOL! Okay, on with the fic!


Chapter One:

She was always silent, always cowering before people as if she were afraid. Why was she so afraid? It was because she cared so much; too much, in fact.

Neji had always known that.

Even when they were children, Hinata's capacity to care and love, far exceeded what was normal.

It was because of that, because she cared what other people thought of her, that she was always scared.

Scared of disappointing them.

Scared of hurting them.

Scared of making them mad.

Scared that her existence somehow caused them trouble.

Scared that the breath she took she somehow stole from others.

Why did she even care so much?

Damn her!

She was the weakest person he'd ever seen. It was so easy to hurt her, so easy to mark her and make her bleed.

It was so easy to make her cry.

But no matter what he did…why did she always have to get up and keep on smiling at him?

Why did she always call him niichan and ask after his health?

He tried so hard to push her away and to make her hate him just as much as he hated her and her entire Main House family.

If she did learn to hate him, then it would be all right for him to hate her.

He wouldn't have to feel this pang of guilt spike through his chest every time she would tremble in front of him, crushed from the harsh words he'd released upon her.

Crushed but never broken.

Bowed, bent…but she never breaks.

She never did.

She never learned to hate him.

Every mean thing he told her, she accepted with a bowed head and shoulder hunched together as if she was trying to make herself smaller. Sometimes he thought that she would even willingly erase herself from existence if it would make someone else happy.

She was a Hyuuga damn it!

A Hyuuga did not bow to anyone!

How unfair it was that such a weakling was born into the main family and treated with honors while he, Neji Hyuuga called genius, had to bear the stupid mark on his forehead that proclaimed to the world that he was lesser?

That he was nothing but a slave, a bird in a cage whose only purpose in being born was to die for her safety.

He couldn't even choose to die just for himself.

"N-Neji-niichan…"

Neji turned with narrowed eyes as he glared at Hinata.

"I…I…"

"Straighten out your words before you come talking to me. You're wasting my time," he said harshly as he turned to go.

A small hand reached out and her tiny fingers clenched around the fabric of his shirt, detaining him.

A long-suffering sigh escaped his normally silent lips. Ever since the Chuunin exams, he had tried to be just a little nicer to her because of his father's words. Because he remembered what it was that he had promised so long ago.

I will protect her with my life.

But to protect something, someone, you first had to see it as worth protecting.

He saw Hinata as useless.

Fragile.

Weak.

A thing to be despised.

Sometimes he was repelled by his attitude towards her. Sometimes when he looked into the mirror and into his eyes, he no longer recognized the person he sees staring back at him. Where was the little boy who loved his cousin so much, he cried every time her father hurt her?

Where was the little boy who loved his cousin so much he'd asked his father if they could adopt her and she could be his imouto (little sister) so that she no longer lived in a house where the people always hurt her and made her cry?

And then he would see the seal on his forehead and he would remember all the reasons he had to hate her.

"Neji-niichan…"

"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not your brother?" Neji turns towards her, his arms crossed. Hinata's hand is dislodged from its hold on his shirt and it falls helplessly to her side. She brings it trembling to her chest as if cradling it.

Her eyes are still downcast, still looking down at the floor as if the answers to life's questions could somehow be found there.

Pale skin with the incandescent sheen of perfect white pearls, eyes that looked to the world with an otherworldly clarity that captivated and repulsed with their beauty and power, hair a deep black that shone almost blue. If described they could be described the same, the only difference was that Neji was taller and bigger than Hinata, his hair longer.

But there were so many subtle differences.

Neji's countenance demanded attention, when he walked into a room you felt your eyes just drawn towards him for no reason at all or for perhaps the simplest reason of all.

He was beautiful, captivating.

And Hinata…it was so very easy to over-look her. To dismiss her as plain and shy as a mouse…and yet…once people got past that painfully shy barrier she kept around her to insulate herself…she was beautiful in her own way.

She was light.

Warm and gentle sunlight that was there to guide you through even the darkest moments of your life: subtle, barely noticeable but shining with warmth.

Neji knew that those friends of hers, that dog boy and the one with those bugs…they would willingly give up their life for Hinata.

Those two were both from annoyingly closed clans who never trusted outsiders very much…and yet shy Hinata who was just a little mouse of a girl, was able to get through to them and earn their loyalty and trust.

It was because she gave so much of herself first.

"What do you want Hinata-sama?" Neji gritted out as he glared at her. Why was he so angry with her all of a sudden? He wondered what was wrong with him. This rage he was feeling was nothing like the normal amount of hatred he nursed in his heart.

This was altogether different.

It was a blazing fire that consumed him, obliterating everything in its path and making him want to reach out, grab her arms and break her bones.

He took a step back, his eyes widening in surprise at the realization that his hands were trembling.

He wanted to break her.

"Neji-niichan?" Hinata looked up from the ground to peer at him worriedly. She took a step forward again, a hand held out so she could see if he was developing a fever. Before her palm made contact with his skin, his hand captured her wrist and wrenched her forward so that she fell against him.

His heart was beating so fast against her cheek and he felt too warm. "What's wrong niichan?" she asked as calmly as she could, trying to sound soothing despite the fear that was racing in her veins.

Neji bent his head, leaning closer to her until his forehead was against the top of her head, so close he could smell her scent. Vanilla, herbs and something so clean and clear it was surely Hinata's goodness registering in his senses. "Why?"

"W-why w-w-what, Neji-niichan?" Hinata asked, her eyes huge and round, but she did not move.

"Why do I hate you so much?" he asked harshly as his grip on her tightened, squeezing her skin painfully.

Hinata let out a small gasp, but that was all. She didn't move from him or push him away or try to get away from him.

She simply endured.

"Why don't you try and get away? Call out…someone will come and save you," he said harshly, his breathing labored for no reason. He thrust her body away from him and looked down at her bowed head. She was so small, so limp.

So nothing.

"Call out for help Hinata-sama."

Hinata shook her head.

"Why?" his grip tightened and twisted.

Hinata could feel that her bones were close to popping but she didn't cry out.

"Answer me!"

She took a deep breath and tried to speak but the pain was too much and a whimper escaped her lips.

Neji blinked and looked down at his hands. His hold on her was too tight, the skin around where he gripped her was already white and he knew when he released her it would become red.

Tomorrow it would be a dark bruise.

He released her pushing her away and down on the ground. "Why?" he spat out.

Why are you scared?

Why are you weak?

Why don't you run?

Cry out!

Ask for help!

HATE ME!

"I'm sorry Neji-niichan…" Hinata said as she stayed on the ground, only sitting up to cup her arms that were surely throbbing from his abuse.

He waited for her to continue but she was silent and trembling and weak. After a long moment, he felt disgust at her and himself fill him to the brim so he turned and walked away. "What the fuck are you even sorry for?" he found himself asking.

He thought he was out of earshot.

"Being born."

It came so softly, he barely registered it.

He didn't halt his steps although a piece of his heart broke.

Hinata...

(TBC)

A/N: There you have it. First chapter. Do you guys still want me to continue? Please review, I'm not very confident about my ability to write Naruto fics yet so any support you can give is fine! Thanks so much and don't worry, the fic will become more clear and nicer and sweeter as it progresses. (I Hope…) :-P